As a former director of research compliance at Ohio University, I am delighted to return to the University as the program manager for Kids on Campus. We just recently celebrated 20 years of serving the children of our region, and it is an honor to join an organization with such a long and successful history.
Kids on Campus (KoC) is one of Ohio University's most recognizable community-university partnerships, providing quality afterschool programming to multiple districts within Athens and Perry Counties. We also offer additional opportunities through our highly respected on-campus summer camp. Our programs provide children in the region with access to unique educational and enrichment opportunities that otherwise would not be available to them.
In 2016 we were able to expand our services with the help of two new 21st Century Community Learning Center grants that funded programs at Alexander Local and Trimble Local Elementary Schools. And though they provide critical funding for educational and enrichment support, the 21st Century grants do not fund the provision of food. The majority of our participants qualify for free or reduced school lunches during the school year, but lose access to these meals when school lets out for the summer. During summer camp we provide daily breakfast and lunch to each child to stand in for those free lunches, and we also provide healthy snacks to the children in our afterschool programs.
The support of community donors and partners is vital to the success of our mission. KoC is funded almost exclusively through grants and gifts. It is a testament to both the needs of the region and the dedication of those involved with Kids on Campus that the program has continuously attracted support for 20 years, even in a competitive funding environment. The needs continue to be great, and securing adequate funding to address these needs remains a priority for the program.
KoC is grateful to the College of Health Sciences and Professions and to Dean Leite for their unwavering support for our program and its commitment to children in need. In addition to providing a home for KoC offices, the college also houses a dedicated faculty and staff who conduct fundraisers to provide such basic needs as shoes and warm winter clothing for program participants. We are thankful for the generosity of both our University and community members, who understand that fulfilling these basic needs are essential to academic and personal success.
Please take a moment to review our website, including our most recent annual report, which detail our current successes and future goals. I invite you to join us as we move into our next 20 years of ensuring that the children of our region, regardless of economic circumstances, are given the greatest opportunity for personal growth and academic success. Your support can make a real difference in our kids' lives and in our community as a whole.
Jo Ellen Sherow
Kids on Campus Program Manager